How to Download Flash Games
You've probably seen many flash games on the internet. Most are fun to play, and some can be really addicting. But what do you do, if for some reason, you can't play them on the internet? Say, perhaps, you have a desktop and can't get internet in your house, or suppose you just want quicker load times. Maybe you want to reduce your internet bill or even stay off the internet but still be able to play the flash games you love. Well, I have a solution for all of these. While there is no actual download link to the flash games, you can make one yourself. It is quick, easy, and allows you to get the flash games you want right off the internet.
Step #1: Find the URL
The first step to downloading flash games is to find the flash game's URL, or internet path. This is because we are going to create our own download link to the actual flash game file, which is what you will be downloading. Most of the time, the entire game is contained in this file. Note that to play flash games, you will need a flash player utility (I'll recommend a good one later in the hub) and the newest version of Macromedia Flash installed on your computer. Once you find the file's URL, you can create a download link to it. The URL will look something like this:
However, finding this link is no small feat. What you must do is first gain access to the HTML code for the page the game is on. Just navigate to the game as if you want to play it on the internet, and then right-click on a blank space somewhere on the page. If you can't find a blank space, or if the site has disabled right-clicks, go to the View menu instead. If you are looking at a right-click menu, click "View Source" and if you are looking at the view menu, just click "Source". In either case, a new window should pop up with a bunch of text and other stuff. This is the HTML code for the page you were just on. Now you have to look through this code and find the URL. The easiest way is to hit Ctrl+F (or 'Find' in the Edit menu) and type in .swf (dot-S-W-F) and hit enter. The first one it finds is normally at the very end of the link, so go back a ways and find the http:// part and copy the URL from that until the .swf. Yay! Now you have the URL.
Note: Some URL's are tougher to find. If the .swf part is in quotes next to an entry that says 'codebase=' or 'archive=' or something like that, you either have the wrong URL, or it is only half of the correct path. Sometimes you have to guess at what the path might be. For instance, if the address for the site you are at is:
...then you might need to paste that entire address in front of the other part you found. Let's say the .swf part looked like this:
In this case, you can create the correct URL by pasting the .swf part at the end of the site address. The full URL for this blobs puzzle would look like this:
Does that make sense? Just like on your computer, files on the internet are organized into folders and root domains. In this example, the root domain is http://www.games.com and all other parts in between the slashes are folders on the internet. If you understand this, URL's will make a lot more sense and it will be easier for you to locate and download the flash games you want.
Step #2: Create A Download Link
Now, you are going to create a download link with the URL you just found. It should still be in the clipboard from where you copied it. Open a new notepad window and click "New" from the File menu to make sure it is blank. Now, type this into the blank space, pasting your URL into the spot shown:
<A href="YOUR URL GOES HERE">Download</a>
Once you have done this, click "Save As..." from the file menu. Under the file name box, there should be another box that says "ANSI Text File (*.txt)" or something like that. Click that box and select the one that says "All Files (*.*)" before you do anything else. Now, type in a name for this file and make sure you add .html at the end. So, an example would be "Download.html". Now close notepad once the file has been saved. You have just created your own download link!
Step #3: Download the Flash Game
Now that you have your download link, go to the file you just created. It should be an internet file. Open it with your favorite internet browser, and right-click on the link. Click "Save File As..." and save the flash game wherever you want it. Now, you can go there and open the flash game to play it whenever you want to!
Playing Flash Games (*.swf)
In order to play a flash game you've downloaded (assuming it is in shockwave format, which all files with the extension .swf are) you will need a program to open the flash file so that you can play it. You DO NOT need to be on the internet to play the flash game unless the flash game is internet based and links to the internet to get its data. You will be able to tell the difference if you open the flash file on your computer without the internet and it won't let you play the game, or if nothing happens at all. Sometimes flash games connect to the internet without you knowing, so disabling the internet will allow you to know for sure.
Here is a link to an excellent flash file opener that I use for all my flash games:
It is completely free to download and use without restriction. Enjoy!
Note: This tool now comes with a SWF Cache Viewer. This means that you can view all the SWF files stored in your internet browser's cache, which is where browsers store temporary content on your computer. Normally you can't even know whether or not something has been stored in your browser cache, but with this handy little tool, you can see ALL of the SWF files stored there, and you can also save them to your hard drive rather easily. This means you no longer need the little trick I explained above! I wasn't aware of the Cache Viewer tool until recently, but it may be a little advanced for the non computer-savvy.
Occasionally, you might find a flash game that has a neat little tune in it that you'd like to have, but you can't seem to find the song anywhere else (or you have no idea where it's from). This is a case where you'll want to disassemble the flash file (break it apart into all its various pieces) and extract what you want, be it a sound file, song, or image, from inside it.
A word of caution before proceeding--flash game content is often copyrighted, so you should be very careful about what you do with the extracted stuff. If it is for your own personal use, there should be no problem, but if you go around distributing it to anyone and everyone, you could get in trouble. I am not advocating this, but rather a personal use of a certain image or song you want.
Flash files are basically archives of everything the flash game (or movie) needs to move around the screen, play to your speakers, and interact with your mouse and keyboard. The content will be a bunch of code files, images, sounds, and other files that can all be extracted from the flash game, much like a zip file. You will need a program to disassemble the file for you before you can extract anything, however. There are very few free flash disassemblers, but I found a good trial one at this site:
There are limits as to how many files (and different types of files) you can extract, but it is a pretty useful program even with all the limits of the trial version. If you find it extremely useful and wish you could do more with it, I'd strongly recommend buying the full version.
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